Yes you can really make a cute bandana for your dog (or cat) in 15 minutes. These four were all made in a couple hours even though three of them go beyond the basic pattern.
To get started, loosely measure around your pet's neck where you want the bandana to fit. Teyla has agreed to be our model today, and her neck is 19" around. Add 5" to 7" to the neck measurement, depending on how much extra fabric you want to fasten the bandana, 24"-26" in this case.
I find the quickest and most secure way to fasten them is with a cord lock (more on other options later.) It takes a bit of patience to get the ends through the fastener, but once you do it's very secure and needs little extra fabric, so your fabric square can be smaller. If you want to tie your bandana on, go for the largest size square.
Next we're going cut a square of fabric. You want the diagonal line of your square to equal the measurement you calculated. I'm sure there is a math way to calculate the side of your square, but I think it's easiest to take your tape measure over to your cutting mat and let it tell you. Just hold it diagonally across the mat to determine the size you need.
As you can see, I need to cut a 17" square. All you're really going for here is enough fabric to tie or fasten around their neck once the square is folded, so no need to stress about being exact.
Fold your fabric square in half on the diagonal wrong sides together (creating a triangle) and press.
Sew a 5/8" seam on the two open sides. Sew a second round 1/8" inside your first seam. If your machine has the ability to sew a double row of stitching that will work too. I like to sew two rows of stitches just to be sure my sides stay together and the frayed edges don't go past the seam.
Fray the raw edges and you're done. If you have a metal slicker style brush for your dog run it over the edges to make quick work of the fraying! Choosing a loose weave fabric also helps. Here's the technique in action.
To wear the bananda you can simple tie it on their neck, or as mentioned above use a cord fastener. You have a few other options to consider too - add a snap or a button, sew on a bit of velcro, or sew the ends together and slip it over their head.
With cute fabric the simple bandana is all you need, but you can go above and beyond with a few other techniques.
One of our favorites is to block print them (the red bandana). They are super cute and it's a fun way to experiment with color and pattern, but no stress.
You can also add extra stitching, by hand or machine (the blue bandana).
Or try a bit of raw edge applique (the purple bandana).
Whatever you choose it's a win win. You get to have fun being creative, and your dog gets to enjoy all the extra attention for being so cute.